Build your own Timber Frame Style Garden Pavilion. Plans available for download in PDF Format.
Part 2 of 3
See the How to Video.
In Part 1 of this Garden Pavilion Build we got the posts up and the side girts installed.
Part 2 – Build the Timber Frame Style Gazebo
Cut Upper Beams
The next step is to cut the upper beams to length and mark their crown.
The ends have a quarter ellipse cut into them.
I laid out and cut a pattern from plywood according to the drawings. These curves are then traced on the ends of the beams.
I’ll lay out and cut the shallow groove where it sits on the top of the post. I like the beams to sit down on the post an inch. I like this look and you may have seen me do this on other projects. I think it’s worth the extra time and effort.
As with all the grooves or laps on this build, I make a series of close parallel cuts with the circular saw set to depth. Then break these off with a hammer or wooden mallet. Then clean up the groove with a chisel.
I cut these from the end inward. With a handsaw I make a shallow straight, square cut in the end of the beam first. This helps to start the blade squarely and improves the accuracy of the cut.
During this hot and dry summer there were forest fires burning throughout the west. The smoke in the air on a few of these days made it look like sunset all day long. I decided to leave the footage as the camera saw it and to not colour correct it.
So it was kinda fitting that I burnt the wood on these cuts by turning a bit too sharply at the end of the curve. I sanded the char marks off afterward.
I’ll attach the beams to the tops of the posts with a long lag bolt. I countersink the head and washer with a forstner bit, then drill a pilot hole, then finish with a bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the lag bolt shank.
The beams are then chamfered too. You can see the bow in these beams that I oriented up as the crown.
I use a grinder with sanding disk to chamfer the curves and tighter corners.
Put Beams in Place
I enlisted the help of my neighbour Calvin to set these beams on the top of the posts. And this went well and they fit the first time.
I drill into the post with a long bit and run in the lag bolt with a socket wrench.
I made most of the braces for this Pavilion and my Woodshed Project at the same time. If you saw the Woodshed Build Series then you might recognize some of this footage. But I’ll quickly go through the steps again for this project.
I made the braces using two by eight red cedar.
I laid out and cut a plywood pattern according to the plans. I trace the pattern then cut opposing forty five degree angles on the mitre saw.
This ensures the brace will be ninety degrees.
I cut the curved sections on the band saw.
I sand this cut smooth with a small hobby belt sander.
The flexible sanding belt follows the curve of the brace quite well. The braces will be attached to the posts and beams with a long lag bolt at a twenty degree angle to help pull the brace tightly into the corner.
I tilt the table on my drill press to this angle, mark the hole center, and clamp some simple stops to the table to hold the pieces in place.
A countersink with a forstner bit drops the head of the bolt neatly below the surface. Then I switch bits to drill the pilot hole for the shank of the lag bolt.
Using my angle grinder with a sanding disc, I bevel the edges of each corner braces except the edge that mates with a post, girt, or beam. So all the outside edges.
Install Corner Braces
I mark the post and the beam two inches in from the outside edge to guide the brace location. I applied some exterior wood glue then hold it securely in place.
Then drill into the post and beam and drive in a lag bolt with an impact driver. I’ll hand tighten with a socket wrench to prevent thread rip out.
For this structure, I think this simple brace is more than enough to give the frame rigidity. A brace with a proper tendon morticed into the post and the beam is always the best option, but for this build I think a flat mounted brace with a long, angled, lag bolt is sufficient.
On the plans I have included a slightly larger brace for the inside corners as an alternative.
The braces that mate with the girts are installed flush with the outer face of the post, as the girts are the same thickness as the braces.
As another option, I have included another brace variation in the plans that allows for a flush mount onto the inside of the girt or front roof beam.
This matches the look of the other braces from the outside.
Front Roof Beams
The front roof beams are made from two by eight stock.
A similar ellipse profile is cut in the ends as the upper beams.
And the beam that mounts on the front post has a small groove cut to make clearance for the girt. These are also chamfered with the power plane and angle grinder.
First I attach the beam to the front posts with construction adhesive and lag bolts.
To help attach the lower front beam I screwed on some temporary boards to the bottom edge of the girts. This allows me to rest this beam on these supports while I drill and run in lag bolts.
In addition to these lag bolts I add a galvanized corner brace to the inside of the lower front roof beam where it meets the girt.
Main Roof Rafters
The twelve best fir two by eights for the rafters are pulled from the pile. These are inspected, marked for their crown then cut to length.
The ellipse profile is copied onto the ends and cut with the jigsaw. They are stained and let dry overnight.
I also rolled on a coat of stain on the pavilion frame the same day. It’s easier to do now than after the rafters go up.
Each rafter is hauled up and positioned across the top beams.
The birds-mouths are marked then it’s taken down to the sawhorses.
They are cut with a circular saw, then finished with the jigsaw.
To start I clamp some blocks to the ends of the top beams. On the rafter I pre-marked the point where it will contact the upper beam. At this mark I cut a small saw kerf to help hold it in place while I mark the birds-mouth.
I haul up the first rafter and clamp it to the block to hold it. I have some wooden home-made scaffolding and planks to stand on so I set those up.
I take the rafter down to the sawhorses and cut the birds-mouth. Then permanently attach the blocks to the beams.
Install Main Roof Rafters
Rafters are hauled back up and screwed to the beams. Support blocks are added to each beam as the rafters are installed.
I’ll be using the blocking along with short pipe clamps to straighten each rafter as I go along. I put the straightest rafters on the outside edges of the pavilion. And the most twisted ones on the inside.
This third rafter on the east side was twisted AND bowed. But not so bad that I couldn’t use it.
This rafter had the most twist, maybe more than 10 degrees or so.
But the pipe clamp worked like a charm to straighten it.
So this process was repeated for each of the twelve rafters. It took the better part of a day but it went well.
Full dimension 2×8 fir is heavy so I slept well that night.
I had a few outside braces left to put on so I did that next.
See Part 3
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- Dewalt Compact Job-Site Table Saw (DW745)
- Dewalt 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS779)
- 10″ Bench Drill Press with Laser
- Dewalt 20V MAX Compact Drill/Driver set
- Miter-Saw Workstation Tool Mounting Brackets – Dewalt(DW7231)
- Dewalt Heavy Duty Miter Saw Stand (DWX723)
- Dewalt 20V Battery Charger
- Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder similar to mine
- Bosch Jigsaw
- DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool
- Excellent Hammer
- Socket Set
- Angle Grinder
- Large Speed Square
- Small Speed Square
- Compound Square
- Mini Square
- Quick Clamps
- Angle Brackets
Adhesive & Finish
Drill Bits & Blades
- Forstner Set
- Drill Bits
- Countersink Bit
- Bosch 9″ Jigsaw Blades
- Bosch 6″ Jigsaw Blades
- Oscillating Tool Blade Pack
- I’m sure there’s something I forgot